Before you refer a potential student to BoulderReads! please take time to review this page carefully.
Before an adult learner is accepted into BoulderReads! and matched to a volunteer literacy tutor, a phone interview is conducted by BoulderReads! staff, followed by an in-depth face-to-face interview and skills assessment, to determine whether the program is a good fit for him or her and to determine whether the potential student is ready to learn. To successfully improve reading and writing skills with the help of a BoulderReads! adult literacy volunteer a person must meet these basic qualifications:
- Must be an adult.*
- Must live in Boulder County.
- Must be reading or writing below a tenth-grade level as demonstrated in a writing sample and a reading inventory.
- Must be able to communicate in English well enough that the instruction needed is in reading and writing, not in pronunciation, listening skills, or conversation skills. This is measured by an ability to communicate and understand basic information over the phone (or TTY device) and the ability to score a minimum of a 28 on the Basic English Skills Test (BEST).
- Must commit to two weekly 1.5 hour-long sessions in reading and writing; must be able to keep the same general appointment time from week to week, and must be able to actively participate in 1.5 hours of instruction with minimal breaks.
- Must be able to meet with a tutor in one of the BoulderReads! service-delivery locations and to get to that location without guidance after the first appointment.
- Must have a minimum level of maturity and independence as demonstrated by the ability to communicate directly with the tutor and the BoulderReads! staff without another person acting as intermediary, coach, or translator (sign language interpreter excepted). This includes the ability to give basic information over the phone and during the intake interview including name, address, phone number, personal literacy goals, schedule of availability, meeting location preference, and other basic information relevant to education.
- Must demonstrate that enrolling in BoulderReads! is the potential student's goal, not someone else's goal for him, by placing the enrolling phone call himself and by participating in the intake interview alone.
- Must be able to see well enough to differentiate characters on a printed page and to differentiate characters in handwriting (with assistive technology such as magnifying screens or large print, if needed).
- Must be able to hold and control a writing instrument well enough, given available assistive devices if needed, to print letters or to draw a recognizable square and a recognizable circle OR be able to use a keyboard well enough to find and strike specified keys.
- Must arrive at tutoring sessions ready-to-learn -- that is, not under sedation or under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs, and preferably not in the middle of a personal crisis.
- Must be a dedicated learner as demonstrated by being on time to tutoring sessions, by attending regularly, by notifying the tutor in a timely fashion if a cancellation is needed, by recontacting the tutor to reschedule if a cancellation has occurred, by keeping track of the tutor's name and phone number, by completing homework assignments, by treating the tutor with respect, and by maintaining basic personal hygiene.
BoulderReads! tutors receive training in how to teach phonics, sight words, comprehension skills, spelling, grammar, and many other such building-blocks of reading. In addition, the tutoring is heavily weighted toward assisting adult learners in reading the types of things adults need to read -- workplace materials like policy memos, repair manuals, and emails; citizen-related materials such as the driver's license book, home mortgage contracts, and the citizenship test; and parenting-related materials such as letters from a teacher, school announcements, and a child's homework. When considering whether our program is appropriate for the person you have in-mind, please take these focuses into account. If you feel that the person and the program are a good fit for each other, please give our hotline number (303 444-5599) to the potential learner and encourage him or her to call our office when they are ready to commit to improving their reading and writing.